Talking Points Memo (TPM) is an independent news organization that publishes reporting and analysis about American politics, public policy and political culture.
We are particularly focused on reporting on abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust. Our reporters have exposed scandals and driven coverage of major news stories across multiple administrations. TPM was the first web-native news organization to win the George Polk award for Journalism, for coverage of the 2007 U.S. Attorneys Firing Scandal. Our coverage of President Bush’s drive to privatize Social Security won numerous awards. TPM was one of the first news outlets to examine then-candidate Trump’s ties to Russia and later led reporting on his pressure campaign in Ukraine. When former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin opined about abortion in cases of "legitimate rape,” TPM was the outlet to make it news.
We also devote extensive resources to critical policy stories, like the decade-long GOP effort to repeal Obamacare, voter suppression, and the more recent push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
We keep close tabs on the political fringe — militias, white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and more — because we believe they are greater drivers of American politics than mainstream news coverage allows.
Headquartered in New York City with a bureau in Washington D.C., TPM was founded in 2000 by Josh Marshall.
We have three simple goals at TPM:
- Do great journalism
- Be a great place to work
- Make enough money to do both.
The goal of our journalism is neither balance nor objectivity but accuracy, fairness and a fundamental honesty with our readers and members at all times. We relish the comedy, folly and absurdity which is so often at the center of the news. Great journalism should jump off the page, unfolding stories that are as compelling as they are important.
Great journalism also means transparency — transparency not just in who we are or what we believe as an organization, but what we know at any given time. Our never-ending objective is to keep our readers as informed as we are. This requires us to move rapidly, but not recklessly.
As a member-funded publication, building and maintaining a community is critical to us. We think it’s important communication goes both ways. We are constantly engaging with readers and incorporating their feedback not just into our reporting but also the way in which we build our site and present our work. This reader-centric approach to journalism is in TPM’s DNA and continues to this day.
At TPM we also believe that we are doing our best work when the needs of our readers and the needs of our employees are aligned. We strive to create a workplace that enables our staff to do fulfilling work of which they are proud. We want our employees to feel like the work they do adds to, not detracts from, their overall happiness. This enables them to do the excellent journalism that our readers expect of us.
We also believe journalism needs to be accessible. This is why, although we have a membership program that is critical to funding our work, we offer membership options for those who can’t afford them.
Meet The Team
We strive to be as transparent about our business model as we are with our journalism.
TPM is funded overwhelmingly by readers’ membership fees. More than 91% of our income is derived from memberships and reader contributions. The rest comes from advertising. As a fully independent organization, TPM has no corporate overlords. TPM is not beholden to or controlled by any outside interests. TPM was founded by a journalist and to this day its “business” side is staffed with former journalists whose primary mission is to create a sustainable environment for our reporters and editors to do great work.
- 74% of revenue goes to employee salaries
- 11% of revenue goes to rent
- 5% of revenue goes to web hosting and associated tech expenses
- 10% of revenue goes to administrative office and legal expenses
We are a lean enterprise. We take our profits and use them to grow our journalistic resources. TPM’s editorial staff is also proudly part of the Writers Guild of America, East. When you support TPM, you can rest assured your support is funding journalists.